Thursday, January 20, 2011

Exit the Actress by Priya Parmar

I HAD to read this book. Why? Because of the awesome cover and because of the quote from Philippa Gregory on the front. When I was in high school, my school library didn't have much YA literature. In fact, I mainly read my YA lit from my mom's school library, the public library, or I bought books at my local bookstore, Waldenbooks, at the mall. So without easy access to YA and a mean-ass school librarian, I had to find some type of fiction to read. For some reason, my school library had a huge collection of Philippa Gregory/Victoria Holt (probably because they were donated). And I read and read. I truly believe that I minored in history because of my love of historical fiction. And so this book satisfied my need to read about the Court.

The actress is Nelly Gwyn, and her climb to fame took her from selling oranges at the theater to King Charles II's bed. She was a favorite of London, the Court, and the English people. The book is written from Nell's point-of-view, but there are playbills, letters, and other written documents interspersed among the narrative to add interest for the reader. I love the historical accuracy of the novel and the realism of the events and descriptions of London and its people. I'm keeping an eye out for what's next from this author--she's worth reading!

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